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Posts tagged ‘elections’

Unseating Netanyahu: New faces, same policies on Palestinians

After Avigdor Lieberman’s departure from Israel’s ruling coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defied expectations by keeping his government intact.

The prospect of an immediate vote might have receded, but election speculation is only intensifying, with a maximum of a year left in the government’s term.

A major part of the debate pertains to the Israeli opposition, and in particular, the possibility of Netanyahu finally being replaced as prime minister. Read more

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Palestinian vote suspended amid deep divisions

Exactly one month before the long-awaited local elections were set to take place across the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian high court in Ramallah suspended the vote – and it is now unclear whether polling will go ahead at all.

The October 8 vote was meant to elect local councils in more than 400 cities and towns across the occupied Palestinian territories. Thursday’s ruling does not definitively cancel the polls, with the court announcing a further hearing for September 21. Read more

Israeli escalation in Gaza seeks to ‘change equation’ – but at what cost?

Late on Sunday night, the Israeli Air Force launched dozens of airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip – as many as 50, according to an official source – after a single rocket had struck Sderot earlier in the day, causing no damage or injuries.

The airstrikes, which primarily struck sites used by Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades (AQB), constituted, in the words of one analyst, a “deliberate escalation” by Israeli authorities. Read more

Has Hamas Reached A Dead End?

In Gaza, the movement is strapped for cash, as the territory’s residents continue to suffer under Israel’s illegal blockade.

The unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2016 stood at 41.2 percent, while 80 percent of the population depends on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

The Egyptians, meanwhile, are keeping the Rafah crossing almost entirely shut, and have cracked down on the cross-border tunnels that were a major boost to Gaza’s economy. Read more

Palestine: The Road Ahead

On January 25, 2006, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip cast their votes for a new Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). Hamas, which had not contested the previous PLC elections a decade earlier, was strongly tipped to do well.

The U.S. had spent $2 million to try and thwart a Hamas victory, a sum dwarfing the campaign coffers of other parties. The money funded “dozens of quick projects…to bolster the governing Fatah faction’s image with voters,” and focused on “constituencies where Hamas was doing well.”

It was money spent in vain. Hamas won 74 of 132 seats in the PLC, while Fatah, the long-dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestinian National Authority (PA), secured just 45. The new parliament was inaugurated on February 18, 2006. Read more

Beyond the ballot box: how Israel’s “Arab voters” are second-class citizens

On Monday, newly re-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regretfor his now notorious remarks on polling day last week, when he warned that Israel’s Palestinian citizens were coming out to vote “in droves.”

Netanyahu did not actually say sorry; he merely noted that what he had said “hurt some Israeli citizens”, and added that he sees himself as the prime minister of “each and every one of you…without differentiating between religions, races and sex.”

In the words of one journalist, Bibi’s comments were “like publishing a one-column-inch apology on the obituary page for deliberately libelling a person on Page 1.” The Joint List also rejected the non-apology, noting the prospect of further “racist and marginalising legislation” in the next Knesset. Read more

10 facts about Israel’s elections and the Palestinian vote

On 17 March, Israelis will go to the polls to elect a new government. Here are 10 facts about the Knesset elections and the Palestinian vote. Read more

The Zionist Union’s plan for a Palestinian Bantustan

When Israelis go to the polls next week, PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s only serious challenger will be Labour’s Isaac Herzog. The latter heads up the Zionist Union joint-ticket, an alliance with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party.

Since 2009, Netanyahu and his allies in the Knesset have frustrated the efforts of the U.S. and international community to advance the official peace process. Just two days ago, Netanyahu clarified that should he win re-election, there will be “no concessions and no withdrawals [from the Occupied Palestinian Territory].”

But what of Herzog and Livni? What if, when the dust settles, the Zionist Union is invited to head the next Israeli government? What is the alliance’s position on the Palestinians and the peace process? Well now we know. Read more

On Palestine, BDS and solidarity in a time of political crisis

At a recent conference on Palestine in Doha, organised by Azmi Bishara’s Arab Centre for Research and Policy Studies, there was one thing that everyone agreed on: the Palestinian national movement is in a state of crisis with regards to leadership, representation and strategies. How this predicament came about, and what needs to happen to improve this state of affairs, was a topic of debate and divergent views; the basic fact of, as Dr. Bishara put it, the need for a “reformulation of the Palestinian national project” enjoyed a gloomy consensus, however. Read more

Recall the myth of Yitzhak Rabin

With the results of Israel’s election in (though the exact final breakdown is still unknown), one message has dominated: ‘Dead heat!’ The Knesset is being presented as split down the middle between ‘right-wing’ and ‘centre-left’ blocs, as discussions take place about how a coalition government will be formed.

But there is another way of looking at it: for Palestinians, the Israeli electorate has returned a parliament that is 90-10 in favour of ethnocracy. Read more